Saturday 7th January 2012 // Ryman League Division One // Report by Ruth Tunnell
A late strike from Baff Addae was enough to give The Stones a rare draw away at fellow play-off contenders Godalming Town.
This game was a tight affair between two well-matched sides and unsurprisingly Maidstone’s manager Jay Saunders was pleased that his side grabbed a late equaliser saying: “ I think we deserved something out of the game and if I am honest, a draw was probably a fair result. I’ll take a point as they are a decent side and they have been on a good run.”
The Stones had a couple of chances early on and with a minute played, Shaun Welford did well to keep the ball in play and he gave it to Alex Waugh whose shot from close to the touchline went over the bar.
Then on nine minutes, a long throw from Alex Flisher caused confusion in the Godalming defence and Waugh blasted the ball goalwards only for Ryan Lake to block the effort as he was guarding the near post.
Shortly afterwards, Daren Hawkes was called into action for the first time when he parried Adam Foulser’s drive and after a couple of half chances for The Stones, Foulser was involved again on 34 minutes when he headed Guy Hollis’ long throw at Hawkes.
Five minutes before the break, Maidstone once again had Hawkes to thank for keeping the scores level when this time he made a fine save to deny Dan Read. Then seconds later, a mistake from Danny Lye in midfield led to Read racing down the left and squaring the ball to Scott Harris whose shot deflected wide.
The final chance of the half fell to the home side when Hollis went past Sam Bewick with ease and started to bear down on Hawkes’ goal but the Godalming player elected to shoot early and he put the ball wide of the right hand post.
Twelve minutes after the break Harris found Read who drew another good save from Hawkes and then seconds later Read appeared to foul Graeme Andrews, which enabled him to go past the Maidstone defender, before quickly shooting and his effort smacked the left hand post.
Just past the hour, a good run down the right hand side from Ellis Green took him into space before he found Bewick who was just outside the box and Bewick’s shot flew just wide. Then with 72 minutes played, Green passed to Tommy Osborne who went on a mazy run that ended with the Maidstone defender’s shot missing the target.
Six minutes later, Godalming were allowed to roam down the left hand side through substitute Darren Wheeler and his good cross came to the arriving Read who not for the first time in the afternoon, saw his strike come back off the post.
The end to end nature of the game continued as the half progressed and with nine minutes remaining Flisher picked up possession before driving a fierce effort goalwards only for Jake Somerville to make a good save and then moments later, another effort from Flisher was held by the Godalming keeper.
Then on 84 minutes, the home side were allowed to quickly take a free-kick which had been dubiously awarded against substitute Baff Addae and Jamie McClurg, released Harris who confidently advanced into the area and dispatched his shot past the stranded Hawkes.
However, just when it looked as though Maidstone would return to Kent on the back of a defeat, Flisher’s positive play took him towards the area before he passed to Addae and The Stones’ striker did well to knock the ball into space before turning and firing the ball into the net to give the visitors what could turn out to be an important point in their quest for promotion.
Godalming Town: Scott Harris 84
Maidstone United: Baff Addae 89
Godalming Town: Jake Somerville, Guy Hollis, Ryan Lake, Adam Foulser, Antontio Simeone, Brett Cooper, Dan Read, Jamie McClurg, Scott Harris, Josh Pearson (Darren Wheeler 68), Ben Edwards. Subs not used: Wes Harrison, Jon Palmer, George Short, Calum Eagle.
Maidstone United: Daren Hawkes, Tommy Osborne, Tom Mills, Sam Groombridge, Graeme Andrews (Michael Phillips 88), Sam Bewick, Ellis Green, Danny Lye, Shaun Welford, Alex Waugh (Baff Addae 76), Alex Flisher. Subs not used: Jay Saunders, James Abraham, Marc Powell.